ARIZONA NEWS

Phoenix Fire’s new arson dog, Sonny, is department’s 1st in 6 years

Oct 2, 2019, 4:05 AM | Updated: 8:46 am
(KTAR News/Ali Vetnar)...
(KTAR News/Ali Vetnar)
(KTAR News/Ali Vetnar)

PHOENIX — A furry, 65-pound sniffing machine is one of the Phoenix Fire Department’s newest employees.

Sonny, a 2 1/2-year-old golden retriever and yellow lab mix, helps the department sniff for accelerants and signs of arson during fire investigations.

The pup — the department’s first arson dog in about six years — started training with Capt. Robby Simpson in April and recently received his certification.

“He’s a great resource for the department,” Simpson said. “Everybody loves him and everybody loves to see him. He loves to see them.”

It’s a stroke of fortune the department ended up with Sonny.

He was bred to be a disability service dog, but failed that program.

“He’s got a lot of drive to sniff and search,” Simpson said. “But he’s all goof.”

Simpson said the department felt a need for an arson dog and inquired about the possibility of getting one about a year ago.

The department then reached out to insurance company State Farm, which sponsors a program for arson dogs, and was accepted for it.

The company paid for Sonny’s four weeks of training, and he has been with the department ever since.

Simpson said other departments request Sonny’s services since there are only two arson dogs in the Valley.

When the two aren’t working, they like to relax and spend time together at home.

“He’s a very lovable social dog,” Simpson said. “When we go home, he’s all puppy. When we go to work, he’s social but he understands when he needs to become serious.”

KTAR News 92.3 FM’s Ali Vetnar contributed to this report.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Cronkite News File Photo/Hope O’Brien)...
Morgan Fischer | Cronkite News

Arizona near bottom of K-12 student spending list for 2020, Census says

Arizona was again among the worst states in the nation for per pupil spending on K-12 education in 2020, and advocates aren't surprised.
8 hours ago
Marnee Spierer (Cancer Treatment Centers of America Photo)...
Taylor Kinnerup

Valley oncologist opts for double mastectomy to avoid family history of cancer

May is National Women's Health Month and one Valley oncologist opted for a double mastectomy as a way to minimize her risk of breast cancer and take control of her health.
8 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Taylor Tasler

Arizona schools chief Hoffman concerned about staffing next fall amid teacher shortage

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman said Monday she’s worried there won’t be enough teachers for next school year amid a shortage.
8 hours ago
(City of Glendale Rendering)...
Balin Overstolz-McNair

New resort in Glendale’s Westgate area won’t be issue for water supply, city says

A new water resort coming to the Westgate area in Glendale won't be an issue for water supply as it will use less than the current agricultural land it is being built on, the city said.
8 hours ago
(Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

Phoenix-area weather expected to take leap to 106 degrees this week

Just in time for Heat Awareness Week, the mercury is climbing in metro Phoenix and could reach 106 degrees late in the week, weather watchers said.
8 hours ago
(Arizona Humane Society Photo)...
Danny Shapiro

Arizona Humane Society rescues pig and chihuahua duo named Timon and Pumbaa

The Arizona Humane Society has rescued an unlikely pair of best buddies that won't be separated any time soon.
8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air

Tips to lower your energy bill in the Arizona heat

Does your summer electric bill make you groan? Are you looking for effective ways to reduce your bill?
...
Canvas Annuity

The secret to guaranteed retirement income

Annuities aren’t really a secret, but they are so misunderstood that they might as well be. Once you understand what an annuity is and how it can benefit you, you could decide this “secret” is the perfect supplement to your retirement plan.
(Twitter photo / Coco5)...
Coco5

Suns star Devin Booker’s all-natural sports drink Coco5 perfect for any activity

Devin Booker is leading the Suns in pursuit of their first NBA championship while also working to provide people proper hydration with Coco5.
Phoenix Fire’s new arson dog, Sonny, is department’s 1st in 6 years